Thursday, June 30, 2022

PPC- Call to Action


Call to Action: A Movement Declaration to Reconstruct American Democracy
At the June 18 Moral Assembly, the Poor People’s Campaign announced its new campaign: 7 Steps Before the Midterms. The steps are enumerated in a new document titled A Movement Declaration to Reconstruct American Democracy, whose preamble points out the importance of this year’s midterm elections, when 469 seats in Congress will be in play. At the same time, the preamble notes, “our democracy is threatened by a state-by-state coordinated assault on the right to vote and imperiled by open violence, greed, obstruction, distortions and denial, while more than 140 million poor and low-wealth people of every race, creed, religion, in every region of this country are rising up daily against growing indignities, pain, injury and death at the hands of immoral policies and interlocking injustices.”


But rather than being obstacles, these facts drive us forward. “Our votes are not supports but demands to be heard and to take action. A movement that votes does not vote for any party or any one person, we vote for our people and for our lives. We vote to summon a Third Reconstruction that can birth us out of an impoverished democracy and usher in a new world.”


Here is a summary of the seven steps:

  1. We demand that every member of Congress publicly acknowledge the reality and pain of 140 million poor and low wealth people.
  2. We demand every member of Congress commit to creating and supporting legislation that reflects the Third Reconstruction Agenda developed by poor and low-wage communities.
  3. We demand a White House Poverty Summit with President Biden to allow this administration to meet with a delegation of poor and low-wealth people, religious leaders and economists and to commit to an Executive Action Plan to Eliminate Poverty in 2022.
  4. We declare that this Campaign will engage in massive mobilization and outreach through every means available to us—by visits, letters, petitions, candidate forums, and phone calls—advocating for our current representatives to take action now to address the needs of 140 million poor and low-wealth people in this country.
  5. We pledge to return to Washington D.C. in September 2022, to join 5,000 poor and low-wealth people and religious leaders, along with 100 economists, in nonviolent moral direct action in our next step of declaration and notification of these demands.
  6. This Campaign announces its launch of a nationwide effort to register and educate poor and low-income communities to vote in every election for candidates who commit to a Third Reconstruction Agenda to address poverty and low wealth from the bottom up.
  7. We declare that we are a movement that votes. We call on all poor and low-wealth people to march in mass assembly from here to the polls this November and to use your vote to make your voices heard!

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Samuel Alito: The 21st-Century Roger Taney

Samuel Alito: The 21st-Century Roger Taney: The author of ‘Dred Scott’ and the author of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization stripped fundamental rights from Blacks and women, respectively. And sundered their nation in the process.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

antiracismdsa: Poor People's Campaign- March on Washington

antiracismdsa: Poor People's Campaign- March on Washington:   ‘We Won’t Be Silent or Unseen Anymore’: Poor People’s Campaign To Lead DC Assembly Jessica Corbett  June 17, 2022 Common Dreams Bishop Wil...

Thursday, June 09, 2022

Teachers- End Gun Violence


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National Education Association
Curious.  No March in Sacramento ?

Friday, June 03, 2022

California Public Schools are Losing Underpaid Teachers at a Steep Rate


Districts struggle to fill open positions and see new waves of teacher departures this summer.




Photo: Geo Piatt.

Through the years, Kati Bassler has seen plenty of her teaching colleagues grab a side hustle or summer gig. It’s not uncommon. As Bassler puts it, these teachers often are paid a salary that doesn’t quite cut it, but they’re part of a profession that they value and don’t want to leave. So they take in extra cash where they can, and try to stay in the game.

Lately, Bassler says, the math has gotten worse. Many of her teaching peers in Monterey County are burned out, badly in need of a summer break after two years of pandemic-freighted workloads that taxed them mentally and emotionally. But they simply can’t stop.

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“Our area has some of the highest rents in the state,” Bassler explained. “Their full-time salaries are just not commensurate with the cost of living in this area. So a bunch of them will teach summer school or take other jobs for the money, even though they’ve been under tremendous pressure and could really use time to recharge.”

The conversation around elevating the standard of public education in California is a multifaceted one, just as it is across the country. But a fair place to start is that teachers must be able to afford to do their jobs.

Increasingly, they can’t. And the continued flight from the profession is both a chilling reminder of that affordability gap and, for those who remain in the classrooms doing the work, a call to arms.

Those studying the issue from the outside fully agree. “We have to stop treating our public school education system in this country as an afterthought,” said David Cooper, director of the Economic Analysis and Research Network at the Economic Policy Institute. “We are already facing a huge shortfall.”

*   *   *

The EPI’s analysis of figures compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts that notion into bold relief. Since 2008, when effects of the Great Recession began to be felt, K-12 public education employment in the U.S. is down by about 432,000 people, a 5.3% hit. But if school staffing levels had kept pace with the actual growth in student enrollment from 2008 to 2021, the institute says that the shortfall would now be 8.6%.

That is a menacing number, but it’s in line with the experiences of many school districts in California, which is down 6.7% overall in public education employment since 2008 and experienced a massive surge in teacher retirements in both 2020 and 2021.

Bassler, president of the Salinas Valley Federation of Teachers, said the turnover rate of teachers and staff in the area is more than 10% a year, with tech educators prominent among those who have begun leaving for better paying jobs in the private sector.

“When you adjust for inflation, there has been no change in teacher compensation over the past 20 years.” 

~ David Cooper, Economic Policy Institute

The entry level salary for middle and high school teachers in Salinas, the largest city in Monterey County, is $48,000. A 2019 study by a website dedicated to rental reports and listings, meanwhile, found that the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment there was more than $2,000 per month (double the national average) and had increased by 50% in five years. A check this week found no two-bedroom units available for less than $2,350, except for in a low income housing project.

Spiraling health care costs ratchet up the financial pressure further, especially on new teachers. “They have nothing left for food,” said Bassler, an educator for 25 years. “These are the teachers we are hoping will be part of our community for years to come, and some of them have to access resources in the county for their groceries. It sucks, it really does.”

Beyond question, teachers and administrators say, the strain of attempting to work in public education during the pandemic has driven many out of the field or to early retirement. But the teacher shortage isn’t a new problem. Researchers say it was building for years, long before COVID. And one core issue, money, is every bit as obvious as it sounds.

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